Angelina's Bachelors

A Novel with Food

Angelina's Bachelors

Sometimes the shortest distance between two people is the length of a kitchen table. . . .

Far too young to be a widow, Angelina D’Angelo suddenly finds herself facing a life without her beloved husband, Frank. Late one night shortly after the funeral, she makes her way down to the kitchen and pours all of her grief and anger into the only outlet she has left—her passion for cooking. In a frenzy of concentration and swift precision, she builds layer upon layer of thick, rich lasagna, braids loaves of yeasty bread, roasts plump herb-rubbed chicken; she makes so much food that she winds up delivering the spoils to the neighbors in her tight-knit Italian community in South Philadelphia.

Retiree Basil Cupertino, who has just moved in with his kindly sister across the street, is positively smitten with Angelina’s food. In a stroke of good fortune, Basil offers Angelina (not only husbandless but unemployed) a job cooking for him—two meals a day, six days a week, in exchange for a handsome salary. Soon, word of her irresistible culinary prowess spreads and she finds herself cooking for seven bachelors—and in the process discovers the magical power of food to heal, to bring people together . . . and maybe even to provide a second chance at love.

Filled to the brim with homemade warmth, Angelina’s Bachelors is a sweet tale of overcoming grief, redefining family, and following your heart—through food.
  • Gallery Books | 
  • 384 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451620566 | 
  • August 2011
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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Angelina's Bachelors includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Brian O'Reilly. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


When Angelina finds herself suddenly widowed and jobless, she picks herself up the best way she knows how—by cooking. Her culinary pursuits catch the attention of retiree Basil, who has just moved in across the street from Angelina. Basil makes Angelina an offer she can’t refuse: he’ll pay her handsomely in return for preparing most of his meals. Angelina jumps at the chance to make some money doing what she loves, and soon expands her list of clientele to seven hungry bachelors. This disparate but charming group of men forms a protective circle around Angelina— providing her with a new kind of family.

Topics and Questions for Discussion

1. In the beginning of the novel, Angelina states “. . . cooking was not just about food. It was about character.” (p. 2). What does she mean by this statement? How is it true throughout the book? How does food define her character?

2. Angelina is furious when Amy tries to pass off a storebought cake as her own. see more

Articles About This Book

Year of meats

Posted on XOXO After Dark

Posted by Abby

This is way better than your average grocery's a collection of wonderful books, both fiction and non-, perfect for the foodie reader (or anyone who loves to eat!). Bon appetit! 1. Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel: Food and...

About the Author

Brian O'Reilly

Brian O’Reilly is a writer and producer.  He was the creator and executive producer of Food Network’s Dinner: ImpossibleAngelina’s Bachelors is his third book and first novel, after Mission: Cook! and Impossible to Easy.  His culinary collaborator is his wife and partner, Virginia, a lifelong cook and culinary producer of their production company.  In a perfect world, they believe, there’d be pie every day.